Keyware, one of the world’s leading providers of biometric and centralized authentication solutions, announced the U.S. launch of Smart-Universe, a complete suite of smart card applications. Based on its successful experience in the thriving European smart card market, Keyware has developed a secure, platform-independent suite that addresses a variety of needs, is capable of combining multiple applications and is protected by biometrically enabled technologies.
Companies, consumers and government agencies are increasingly looking for convenient, secure ways to communicate and do business. Keyware’s smart card suite includes features for electronic payments, personal identification, event ticketing, customer loyalty and physical access. Additionally, Smart-Universe is protected by Keyware’s pioneering work in the field of biometrics, the technology of using an individual’s personal characteristics for authentication purposes.
“Biometric authentication can increase the comfort level for both users and information owners or sellers, since fingerprints, voice or facial characteristics are unique, hard to replicate, and very hard to loose,” said Amy Wohl, an analyst from Wohl Associates in Narberth, Pa. who specializes in emerging technologies. “In combination with stored information on a smart card, this technology could significantly increase the number of users who will be confident about storing and accessing private information.”
Keyware provides basic applications and tailor-made solutions for the following markets: electronic payments (Smart-Wallet), customer loyalty (Smart-Shopper), secure identity (Smart-Identity), ticketing (Smart-Show) and physical access control (Smart-Access). Also, because it is platform independent, Smart-Universe is capable of operating on a variety of devices (PC, mobile phone, PSA, ATM, card reader) and networks (PSTN, VPN, www, satellite, GSM). In addition to this broad range of application support, Keyware is able to offer state-of-the art security for smart cards. Keyware’s Central Authentication Server (CAS), with Layered Biometric Verification (LBV) technology, allows organizations to manage all their authentication methods from one server. These methods include PKI, biometrics, smart cards, PINs and passwords. Keyware’s CAS integrates into Internet and network security, physical access, telephony and smart card applications.
“Our Smart-Universe application suite has revolutionized security across Europe and Asia,” said Francis Declercq, president and CEO of Keyware. “By bringing our innovative smart card technology to the United States, we will make vast improvements toward protecting an individual’s safety and identity whether it is at a sporting event or while shopping online.”
Smart cards, already common in Europe and Asia, are being used more frequently now in the United States. They are the size of a credit card and contain a microprocessor (chip), which can be programmed to perform different functions. The chip holds electronic data and programs, such as an operating system.
Securing the cards
Keyware is a pioneer in the field of biometrics and firmly believes that adding biometric authentication – such as fingerprint, voice and face verification – to smart cards greatly improves the security of the card. Enhanced security significantly increases user confidence, which is vital to public acceptance and widespread usage.
An individual’s personal characteristics are unique and cannot be lost, forgotten, stolen or duplicated by an impostor. The cardholder simply enrolls his/her biodata (fingerprint, voice and/or face) and this information is run through an algorithm, which creates a number that is encrypted and stored on the card. Authentication is performed by comparing the biometric templates stored on the smart card chip with live biometric data captured at each transmission.
The user keeps the card with him, maintaining complete control of his personal biometric data. If the card is lost or stolen, it cannot be used by anyone else. Biometric technology allows organizations issuing the smart card to be confident that the individual they are allowing to access information or a location is who they say they are.
Founded in 1996 and quoted on the NASDAQ Europe (formerly EASDAQ) since June 2000, Keyware is one the world’s leading providers of a broad range of authentication solutions for real-world business applications, and a pioneer in the field of biometrics, the technology of verifying an individual by means of personal characteristics such as voice, face and fingerprints. Keyware’s Centralized Authentication Server (CAS) with LBV-technology allows companies to manage multiple authentication techniques, including biometrics, from one central server. CAS optimizes security and convenience for physical locations, e-commerce, network, smart cards and telecommunications applications.
Keyware’s award-winning technology is sold globally through an extended network of OEMs, system integrators and VARs. Co-headquartered in Brussels (Belgium) and Woburn (Mass., USA), you can find more information about Keyware at [www.keyware.com].